Art Principles and History


Who is an artist?

At the risk of being facetious, an artist is a person who makes art; however, just as the definition of “art” has changed over time, so have our definitions and expectations of artists. Traditionally, artists were craftsmen, or artisans. Medieval European sculptors, for example, were considered to be manual laborers. It was only after the Renaissance when cultural perceptions of artists began to change. Great masters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Diego Velázquez made a point of promoting the idea that an artist was much more than a manual laborer. They wanted to be acknowledged for their genius and special talent. The idea of artist-as-genius continues to this day.


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